There are many wearable technology products that focus on getting the user up and moving. Whether this is achieving those 10,000 steps per day, or getting up from the sofa to enjoy immersive gaming in virtual reality, achieving mobility is a recurring theme.

Nowhere is this more relevant than in inpatient monitoring in a clinical setting. Many traditional methods for monitoring vital signs and other critical metrics during care can force the patient to remain sedentary. This causes significant complications, from the formation of pressure ulcers and bedsores to the fundamental risk factors and economic costs with keeping patients in the ward for longer periods of time.

One solution to this is to lower the threshold at which patients can be allowed greater freedom of motion. And there are several companies involved in the development and deployment of ambulatory versions of patient monitoring devices for use within hospitals.

A new IDTechEx report looks at wireless inpatient monitoring and the topic along-side related areas, such as ambulatory cardiac monitoring (e.g. mobile cardiac telemetry, Holter monitoring, event monitoring, etc.), and fever detection using temperature sensors and other potential medical uses for ambulatory monitoring via skin patches in preop monitoring and clinical trials, to name a few examples.

According to the report, the deployment of these systems relies on the use of low power sensors, efficient energy storage techniques and new standards in data communication to offer reliable, accurate, practical platforms. So while the efficacy of these options is increasingly demonstrated, the practical challenges of getting these systems deployed are significant. Such challenges include the deployment of the system (often alongside archaic incumbents), the management of any errors or anomalies, the education of healthcare staff, and achieving patient compliance. As companies overcome these challenges and increasingly demonstrate the efficacy of these platforms, their adoption will become more common, say the report’s authors.

However, the theme of moving to ambulatory monitoring is broader, they also note. In the report on electronic skin patches, IDTechEx surveyed 95 different case studies involving the commercialization of electronic skin patches. The survey results revealed many companies are following a cycle between application and technology development, developing different sensing platforms on skin patches, and exploring potential applications. This included many different health monitors, including for sweat sensing, motion, electrodes, temperature and more.

Ultimately, the report on the commercialization of electronic skin patch products covers 26 application areas, the survey of case studies, historic market data, and market forecasts to 2028 for this emerging product area. And it reveals significant opportunity, with a forecast for total annual revenues in electronic skin patches projected to reach more than $10 billion per year by 2023 and approaching $15 billion by 2028.